Adios (and good riddance) January!

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Remember my whole “drink less, move more” resolution I made in the beginning of the month?

Well, I did a phenomenal job of it for the first ten days of the month. I was eating super healthy meals, drinking green smoothies for breakfast, and taking long walks after dinner. Kevin and I went a whopping nine days with not a drop of alcohol, and shockingly, it wasn’t even that hard. We were determined. We were focused. We were feeling good!

And then I had LASIK*, and Kevin got vertigo, and well… any and all progress we made quickly went out the window. The only thing that would distract me from my constant eye discomfort was wine and carbohydrate filled goodness. The only time I forgot how much my eyes hurt was when I had a good three glass wine buzz on, so that’s what I did, pretty much every single night since January 11th. And since I couldn’t drink while at work, I would console myself with delicious food. Donuts. Bagels. Enchiladas. Pasta. Garlic bread bacon grilled cheese. Mmmm.

But now, 20 days later, I need to try and switch gears again. I can see the unhealthy living emanating from my pores. My skin looks old and tired. My pants are tight. Parts of my body that shouldn’t be shaking when I walk are moving and grooving like they are at a disco. Now that my eyes no longer bother me constantly, there’s really no excuse.

January has been a particularly shitty month in my household, and I’m more than ready to bid it adieu. I’ve never been particularly fond of January in general. Like so many people, I tend to fall victim to some major January blues, but this month has taken the cake. I could not be happier to see it leave.

In February I plan to resume my healthier lifestyle. Well, let’s be honest. I’m going to LA for the weekend for one of my best friend’s 30th birthdays, where I’m sure we will be eating and drinking our faces off, and Sunday is Superbowl, so….. yeah, I plan to resume a healthier lifestyle on February 4th.

How was your January, friends? Is anyone else as ready as I am to kiss it goodbye?

*For those wondering, my eyes are doing MUCH better. I found out what exactly was wrong with them last week, started a new eye care treatment plan, and things have been improving. They are still not 100%, but they are getting there.

ritaJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:05 pm

so ready for this month to be over! like you, the goal is to be healthy, excluding a trip to paso robles with friends later this month! i am so happy you figured out what was wrong with your eyes and are on the mend, serena!

JessicaJanuary 31, 2013 - 7:28 pm

I am so happy this month is over. I was on a holiday high for awhile there and now nothing- just tons of work. I cannot wait for February- here’s to hoping it’s better than January! I’m glad your eyes are feeling better. That seriously sucks. I know how scared you were and then to have that happen- so lame. Can you at least see better now!?

Now, let’s drink a glass of wine (or a few) and celebrate the arrival of February!

Rachel GFebruary 1, 2013 - 5:58 am

I’ve considered Lasik, but the recovery process scares me so much that I doubt I’ll ever go for it!

Sugar Baby » SpillerenaFebruary 12, 2013 - 10:24 am

[…] I’ve written about before, I’ve been trying to get back into a healthier lifestyle for 2013 (and ideally forever on), […]

On Baby Fever. Or Lack Thereof.



Babies. Oh babies.

It’s no surprise that babies are something I think about often. I’m married. I just turned 30 (ah!). Most of Kevin’s friends already have kids. My friends are starting to as well.

(not that Kevin’s friends aren’t my friends too, but you know what I mean).

The other day my friend Jessica wrote about her baby fever, and it got me thinking about my own baby fever.

Because the thing is, I don’t have it.

Not yet. Not even a little bit.

There is not a shadow of doubt in my mind that I want kids. I’ve known this my whole life, and I’ve never questioned it. When I think about my future, kids are most certainly a part of it.

But, well, I don’t want them right now.

The other night one of my friends (who shall remain nameless, but she knows who she is) told me that she wanted to be pregnant by the end of the year. She is not currently trying to get pregnant, but she has babies on the brain and she wants one. She wants one soon.

This friend and I have always been on the same page when it came to certain things…  moving in with our boyfriends, marriage, etc., etc., so I think we both assumed that naturally we would be ready for kids around the same time.

So her telling me that she wanted to be pregnant by 2014? It kind of sort of sent me into a small panic, because it made me feel like I too should be wanting a baby!

And the thing is… I just don’t. Not now.

Of course, there are moments when I see an adorable little babe and suddenly I start to daydream about how great it will be to have one of my own. But all it takes is one simple reference to a “diaper blowout” and any fever that may have been rising is squashed completely. If your ovaries are aching, just go spend a few minutes on the site STFU Parents and let me know how you’re feeling now.

I’ve yet to get this baby fever that so many people speak of, and I’m starting to worry… what if I never do?

Any desire I currently have is driven more by my biological time clock than actual want. Like I said, I just turned 30. Kevin is already 36. We are not getting any younger. I know enough about reproductive health to know that my fertility is decreasing with each passing year. Half of my brain says “you are only 30! You have so much time” and the other half screams “you are already 30! Time is running out!

But still… I’m just not ready to have that in my life. My desire to travel, drink alcoholic beverages, sleep-in, and eat fancy dinners out far outweighs my current desire to have a kid, and lately that has been making me a little nervous.

Am I too selfish to have a kid?

What if I never get baby fever?

And then of course the worst fear of all trickles in… what if when I do, I’ve waited too long and things are a lot more difficult than they would have been earlier?

I know everyone is different. Everyone has a different time frame. I think that part of it could be that most of my close girlfriends do not have kids yet.

Perhaps when they do, things will change? Perhaps then I’ll be struck with this infamous baby fever?

I hope so. I want to want a baby.

When we do decide to have kids, I want Kevin and me to both be super over-the-moon ridiculously excited about it. Right now, we are not there. Though neither one of us is against the idea of having a kid at this moment in our lives, there are other things we’d like to do more.

What about you? Do you have baby fever? Did you ever have baby fever?

Are you like me and worried you’re never going to have it?

Please, make me feel normal!

MichelleJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:36 am

Amen sister! I’m right there with you. I have no urge. Zero. Zip. Zilch. But I KNOW that I want kids….one day. It’s so funny, when I was younger, I always said, “I want to be married at 23, then have kids at 26!” EFF THAT.
I’m 26 now and there’s absolutely no way I want that. So now I keep saying, “Maybe when I’m 30 I’ll have that ‘urge’.” Who knows though…
All I know is this, you DO have plenty of time and it’s more than okay to be selfish now and do what you and your hubs want to do. Timing seems to just work out on its own. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 🙂

Just make sure you don’t have a baby until at least 6 months AFTER I move to SF. That way I can have a friend that’s NOT a mother….it’s a rarity these days…

Oh, P.S. I just finished reading “Unsaid” after you recommended it. I really liked it! Made me cry, made me laugh. Good easy read. Thanks for the suggestion! 🙂

And now this is a novel and I shall go.


BBJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:40 am

This post couldn’t have come at a *weirder* time. I, too, want babies…one day. And while a lot of my friends are starting to have them, I still don’t have the fever for them. After a recent close call – I still can’t bring myself to want them yet. One day…just not yet. And I also fear that maybe I’m just being selfish. I want more time with my significant other, more time for myself, to drink and enjoy my late twenties without the responsibility of a baby…all the while, I wonder when I will want them. All that to say – I completely understand where you’re at!

Shanan BJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:46 am

I am so feeling you on this! I’m 30, will be 31 in May. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years and we are talking marriage next year. My friends don’t believe me when I say I do not want a baby – but like you, I WANT to want a baby. I know that I do not want to be a childless 50 year old. I want family dinners, and big, happy holiday gatherings. But the idea of actively choosing to get pregnant (gross) and going through child birth (oh my god) and then sleepless nights and fights over diaper duty (duty – ha), the decision seems as absurd as the Polar Bear club members choosing to jump into the frozen lake…some people are crazy enough to take the plunge, even knowing how unpleasant it will be. I’m just not that crazy, I guess. So, given that I know I want to theoretically have kids someday, I might have to give up on my hope to be “over the moon happy” about the conception and just pray for an accident. Then, lots of therapy to cope. Then, hopefully the hormones will take over and I’ll be so attached and in love with the baby that I’ll forget about those exotic places I wanted to visit, and the fancy dinners out I once enjoyed…

…good grief I’m a monster. Right?

AmberJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:48 am

Well, I’m not married yet – but I do think you’re normal. You’ll start getting baby fever when it’s time. When it’s the right time for you to have it. Then you can have your own squishy little newborn of your own 🙂

JessicaJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:50 am

If I’ve learned one thing from Baby Fever- it’s that you will know when it’s the right time. Don’t have a baby until your really ready. Maybe after your unnamed friend has her baby you’ll feel the urge or maybe not (and that’s ok too). I think it’s kinda like marriage- it’s not a race. It will happen when it happens. Although I have the baby fever, I know there are so many things I have to/ want to do before we jump into parenthood. I’m type A, so I will not have a child until everything is ready in my eyes. And that is just fine with me.


And don’t worry, there is no such thing as normal these days!

nicole marieJanuary 29, 2013 - 12:16 pm

all i know is kids and babies are freaking a lot of work, a lot of money , a lot of time and a huge life change… every aspect of your life changes and 100% of yourself is turned to your childs needs. personally i dont want kids till i am emotionally physically mentally and financially ready for that drastic change and responsibility. and not only do i think it’s ok for you not to want kids right now (or ever) i think it’s a lot better for everyone to want a baby before having one.

StephanieJanuary 29, 2013 - 12:21 pm

I live in the south — so not being married OR having a baby right now (at age 32) definitely puts me in the minority of my friends and most of the people around me. What you’re thinking/feeling is completely normal. To feel peace about your life exactly where it is – that’s rare. And if that’s what you feel – then embrace it and don’t feel bad about what you think you should be doing. I’m really impressed with the people who live by their own timeline — it’s a struggle for me. Kudos to you to listening to your self! Your kids, when you do decide to have them, will be proud of their super cool mama.

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 29, 2013 - 3:04 pm

OH…the dreaded baby post/question.
I’ve been married for a little over a year now…and my husband’s mom is all over this. She’s ready. hah..
I would say that I’ve caught the “bug” but not the “fever.” Partially because I’m still pretty selfish…but then I think…will this pass until I actually have a baby? Another part is that…I’m so scared! I’m afraid I’ll be a terrible mother with a child who will scream “I HATE YOU” and slam the door. UGH. I know these things can’t be controlled…but how scary. AND the thought of paying for school. I’m still paying for mine…how can I take of someone else when I’m still taking care of me? Is there ever a right time? How did people really do this before? Was it ever a thought or just part of the flow of adulthood?


The Grown Up PrincessJanuary 29, 2013 - 6:52 pm

I’ll admit, I would classify myself in the “Baby Fever” group – we made a New Years Resolution to be ready to start trying by the end of the year. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing got more real to me.

I worked in an infant room, I know babies. But I’ve never given up my sleep for one. I’ve never put traveling on hold, been interrupted by crying and screaming during Sundays in my PJs curled up by the fire with a good book…

Do we ever feel READY for that?

MoJanuary 29, 2013 - 8:25 pm

You are totally normal! The baby “fever” just kind of hit me recently and totally caught me off guard! And I put fever in quotations because it’s more of just a hot flash every now and then, but the fever is imminent, I just know it. For a while I worried about the same thing – I knew my life plan was to have kids, but everything else (sleeping in, traveling, drinking, job) always took priority. It shocked me when I first realized “I don’t CARE if I get to go on that trip if I’m pregnant” – 1 year ago me never would have missed the trip! Anyway, I’ve only got a year on you, but you’ve got plenty of time. When it hits you, you’ll know, but don’t worry about it in the mean time!

Jenn from Much to My DelightJanuary 30, 2013 - 9:30 am

Get outta my brain, girl!! I seriously could have written this post and WOULD except all of my husband’s cousins, sisters and aunts read my blog and would report my ambivalence back to my mother-in-law! If you’re not ready and you know it, don’t let societal pressure make you feel like you’re off somehow. I guess you know when you know. I’m still waiting for that call, and I’m turning 36 in a few months. Unfortunately, most days I still feel about 24… Great post!

KellyJanuary 30, 2013 - 8:51 pm

Thank you for this. I am 32 (!!) and I feel the exact same way. It just seems like so much work!! I, too, hope I’ll catch the baby fever one day. For now, I’ll go back to sipping my tea and reading blogs at 9pm 😉

christinJanuary 31, 2013 - 9:24 am

My opinion on this is going to be VERY strongly disliked. But if you don’t want a baby that doesn’t make you selfish at all, not in the least. Wanting with everything you have to have a baby, to bring this human into the world that didn’t ask to be, for no other reason than you really, really want to is selfish. I don’t think I can have kids, but if I can, I’m not sure that I want to. And I think anything you choose it okay! Because it’s your choice and you can do what you want! xx

BrooklynneJanuary 31, 2013 - 3:30 pm

Girl, please. You’re not alone. I’ve been going through not having baby fever for two years. Similar situation, see — I’m 26 and my husband is 31. Most of my friends have kids, and to make things worse, most of our friends his age have preteens. What is this insanity, you ask? We live in the south. And I’m not even talking like, the real south, like Alabama or something. We’re in Dallas, where there are one or two progressively-minded people (me and him), so you would think people wouldn’t be having babies so early. But alas, People have been throwing the baby question at me since we got married 5 years ago. And the response has always been, are you crazy? Not for like, 10 years. And if you say ess like that down here, people don’t just take it. They get mad. How dare you not drop your career and your hobbies and procreate for a living! You’re a woman! That’s your job! I digress.

I’m like you. A family has always been a part of the plan. But just because I’m babysitting my friend’s infant and not getting some mysterious maternal stirring deep within my uterus doesn’t mean that time won’t eventually come. And I know that when it does come, I’ll go to sleep one day not wanting a baby, and wake up wanting one. Simple as that.

As far as the age thing, there are always options for building a family. But once you sign on as parents, you can’t take it back. Enjoy these years, and stop wasting your time worrying about it. You’re not on someone else’s schedule. You’ll start a family when you’re ready! *toast*

ritaFebruary 1, 2013 - 8:20 am

oh i had to wait till i had time to come back and respond to this one, serena! babies are such a loaded question and i think we put SO much expectation on ourselves to know when the time is right… sort of similar to how most girls expect to fall in love at first sight, in my opinion! it’s just never that easy. and it shouldn’t be b/c parenting is a big deal!

i grew up not being sure i wanted a baby but as i got older/met matt/became an auntie i realized that i do – eventually. matt is 33 and has full on baby fever – at 28 i’m not there yet (he’s cool with that!). but lots of our friends (that are his age) have kids and they all tell me the same thing – they never knew 100% sure they were ready, they just got to a point where they weren’t NOT ready. and then they had 10 months (b/c 9 month pregnancy is a lie!) to get ready. and they all did and are all amazing parents. so that helps me get over my need to get to this place where i’m 100% ready. b/c in my opinion, we never will be. there will always be one more trip we want to take, another savings goal we want to hit, etc. and unfortunately there is a bit of a finite end to having a baby on your own.

i’m still sort of at a point where a baby seems like the worst possible idea, so we won’t be starting any time soon, but i think that as soon as that changes we’ll consider it. and knowing some of my friends, that could change in a heartbeat, it all kind of depends!

also – to christin’s comment – not having kids is such an absurd taboo and is something i wholeheartedly support if it’s right for that person/couple. people say it is selfish (i heard that a lot when i wasn’t sure i wanted to have them) but i think it is actually the opposite of selfish – i think more people should consider parenting and raising a child than just expecting it to be the norm.

DJFebruary 1, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Oh, I am RIGHT there with you.

A Funny For Your Friday » SpillerenaFebruary 8, 2013 - 9:01 am

[…] let me tell you, it’s certainly not helping my lack of baby fever, that’s for […]

AmyFebruary 11, 2013 - 12:05 pm

Great post! I’m in a similar situation. My husband wants to start a family ASAP and I’m terrified. I know without a doubt that I want kids, I’m just not sure I’m ready yet. When I really get down to it, I know the timing is ok now, I’m just missing the whole “baby fever” thing. When we got married, I knew without a doubt it was what I wanted right away, I just want to have that same feeling about a baby before we jump in and start trying. Is there any way to make myself catch baby fever? Seriously, if I could just want to want to have a baby now, we would be all set. I worry that the feeling won’t kick in. Then what? Go ahead and start trying anyway? Any advice on how to catch “baby fever” would be SO appreciated!!!

RavenFebruary 28, 2013 - 3:59 pm

loved this! I certainly didn’t have baby fever before I had my kids but now I couldn’t imagine life without them. You’ll get there, but now just have fun!!

AmberFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Oh girl you are so normal! When you’re ready, you’ll feel ready. You’re not ” too selfish” to be a parent. Recognizing that you aren’t ready yet is one of the most selfless things you can do. Too many people have children before they’re ready b/c they feel like they have to, and then they spend years resenting their children, their lives, etc. That is selfish. Waiting until you are ready? Not selfish. Y’all will get there, and when you do, I have no doubt you’ll be terrific parents!

Andi @ Andi with an IFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:12 pm

Do you know how great it is know that other people don’t have that burning desire to have a child?! Thank you for making me not feel alone!!! I’ve always thought there was something wrong me with me because I didn’t have the burning desire to have a child like all my friends. I’m only 26! I agree with you on the close friends not having kids yet part. My closest friend is my sister and she is just now having her first child. I’ve gotten a little more anxious about having one of my own now that she is having one, but I’m like you with the mention of “blow out” and “snot on my clothes” and “lack of sleep,” I quickly remember I’m not ready yet.

Rachel GFebruary 28, 2013 - 4:50 pm

I have never had the baby fever, and I don’t know really that I ever will! We’ll have to wait and see I guess. I’m only 21, so I have a little time on my side, I feel like.

heather @ fieryandopinionatedrMarch 29, 2013 - 10:20 pm

ok i was excited to meet you before, but now i cannot wait! i am 110% with you. i always wonder if i’m too selfish to have a baby. no wine or sleep? excuse me? i want one someday… but absolutely not today. thank you (and everyone else who commented) for making me feel more normal 🙂

AshleyMay 21, 2013 - 12:52 pm

oh gosh, best post ever!

LauraSeptember 30, 2013 - 6:10 pm

I’m 43 and still waiting for baby fever! I must say that not wanting a child now, or ever, is really not so bad. I enjoy my life tremendously sans children. But as everyone said above, you’ll now when and if the time is right.

Ready or Not… | SpillerenaOctober 31, 2014 - 6:23 am

[…] those of you thinking “What the?! It seems like just yesterday you were not even close to wanting kids!” you are correct. Basically, this is what […]

For Your Friday


Because who doesn’t like a good puppy picture?

My friend Shannon fosters puppies, and last weekend she had four of them. Four! Four adorable teeny tiny little pups.

She brought them to a bar we were hanging out at and let me tell you, we were the most popular people in the whole place. I might have enjoyed the reactions more than the actual puppies. People would walk by and do a double take and then, without fail, every single girl would get that Taylor Swift open mouth “OH MY GOD” face and then come over and ask if they could hold one. It was hilarious.

I hope you all had a lovely week! This weekend could not have come fast enough for me!

JessicaJanuary 25, 2013 - 11:17 am

You’re too funny! Maybe a puppy over a baby for now. Enjoy your weekend, lady!

AlexJanuary 25, 2013 - 11:42 am

Oh My Goodness!! What kind of puppies are those? So cute!

MoJanuary 25, 2013 - 12:26 pm

I would TOTALLY be one of those girls. I can’t resist a puppy.

nicole marieJanuary 25, 2013 - 1:52 pm

i ABSOLUTELY would have been one of those girls

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 25, 2013 - 2:18 pm

OMG is right! Totally darling. If you didn’t have that reaction, then maybe you just plain ol’ hate dogs…and that makes you not so nice. haha… =)


LesleyJanuary 26, 2013 - 10:09 am

Oh my goodness! CUTE PUPPIES!!!!!!! Thank you! 🙂

DeidreJanuary 27, 2013 - 11:13 pm

Ok – I can’t take it! They are sooo cute.

When i see puppies anywhere, I make a little noise and immediately my husband goes “you saw a puppy didn’t you? no, we can’t get one yet”

ReneeFebruary 2, 2013 - 3:23 am

Lol. ‘That Taylor Swift open mouth face.’ Hilarious! I would so be one of those girls too.

Listening to: Birdy

Am I late to the Birdy party? Have any of you heard of her? I discovered her after hearing her on Being Human, and now I’m obsessed. I’ve listened to her rendition of Skinny Love about 100 times, and while it’s not better than Bon Iver’s original (is that possible?), it’s completely different and beauitiful. And the kicker is… she is 15!  FIFTEEN! To have that much soul in her voice at such a young age just blows me away.

See for yourself:




She’s pretty amazing, right?

You can listen to more of her on spotify here.

JessicaJanuary 23, 2013 - 5:48 pm

Wow- she is amazing! And 15- holy crap!

SaraJanuary 24, 2013 - 6:30 am

I love Birdy!
‘Terrible Love’ is also a great cover on that album!

MariaJanuary 24, 2013 - 7:26 am

I danced for 17 years, and this is one of my favorite songs to still dance to. We used to do warm ups, and we even had one routine to this song. By the end of the dance, I would be in tears. This song is so moving and beautiful.
xo, Maria

ReneeFebruary 2, 2013 - 3:26 am

Love this!! Thanks for introducing me to her and this song. Off to check out the original now.

Social Justice Inspiration – Buy The Change

Hello friends, happy Tuesday!

Many of you reading might not know this about me, but about two years ago I graduated with a Masters in International and Human Rights Education. Education is something I feel very strongly about, and I hoped that this degree would allow me to combine my passion for social justice issues and my love of travel with my belief in the power of education.

However, as it is with life sometimes, my current job has little to do with anything I studied in grad school, and sometimes I really miss it. I think that what I miss most about grad school was that I was constantly engaging in dialogue about issues that matter, and I was always learning about people and organizations that are working so hard to right wrongs and create a more socially just world. I often got to meet people that were doing really amazing work, work that was actually making a difference, and it was so inspiring.

So in an effort to bring a little more of that into my life (and hopefully yours!), I’d like to introduce a new series on this little blog of mine about the people and organizations that inspire me. I think it is easy to forget that we as individuals can actually make a difference, but we can, and many people actually are. Most importantly, I want to use this series as a way to highlight the many amazing organizations and individuals out there that have dedicated so much of their life and time to helping others, yet you might not even know they exist.

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Buy The Change USA.


A few months ago I wrote a post for the Half the Sky campaign I was involved in, and one of the comments I received was from Kari Hughes, one of the founders of Buy The Change USA. She sent me an email and said that after being inspired by Half the Sky, she and her friend opened a female centered fair-trade company to help women bulid businesses by bringing their handmade goods into the American market. As Kari told me, “We know the best way to keep a girl safe is to give her mother an income.”

I’m embarrassed that it has taken me this long to share this awesome organization with you all, because what Kari and Shanan have done is truly inspiring. Jewelry, scarves, bags, wallets, home accessories… they have it all. All of their products are fairly traded, and most of them are made with recycled materials. They currently sell these products online, but they also offer in-home trunk shows and fundraising shows in the Detroit Metro area. They also have plans for an advocate program that will allow them to offer home shows in other parts of the country.

The artisans they work with are incredible women that have “have survived sex trafficking, war, poverty and cultures that do not value the life of a girl as equal to that of a boy.” Their mission is “is to change the lives of women and girls in the developing world by inspiring you to change where you shop for gifts and accessories. You can make a difference.”

We can make a difference.

So please, take a few minutes of your day and go peruse their website. Get to know their artisans. Window shop their beautiful inventory. Spread the word by liking them on facebook.

Even better – buy something! Your purchase really can make a difference.


Do you have an organization or person that inspires you? If so, please email me or leave a comment and let me know!

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Kari HughesJanuary 23, 2013 - 4:19 pm

Thanks for helping to spread the word about Buy The Change! We really appreciate your support!

Kari and Shanan
Co-founders Buy The Change